Oh Fuuuuudge!

Yep, I’m still here!  It’s been far, far too long since a post.

I’d love to say that I moved down here and maintained my life as a good girl. Ok, let me rephrase that… I’m sure my family and friends are laughing hysterically at having referred to myself as good…Take Two: I’d love to say that I moved down here and maintained my healthy lifestyle…healthy eating…weight loss.

But I am embarrassed to say that I have not. This, my friends, is my unfortunate weigh-in:

 

Yep. You read that right. 171.2….Cue the R-rated, 4-letter word rant. Cue the mother of all bad words…the F-dash-dash-dash word.

 

I can’t be completely shocked at the disastrous turn in my success.  I have eaten my weight in plantains and cheeseburgers (no bun of course).  And eating out all the time is becoming the death of me!  It’s killing my waistline and my wallet right now.

Must. Plan. Better!!!! I know the drill…just need to stick to it.

I’m still in a size 10. I’ve still lost a redonkulous amount of weight since I started this whole thing. I honestly shouldn’t fret THAT much over 7 pounds in 6 weeks, but I am nonetheless.  I keep having these horrific nightmares that I wake up and I’m fat Hannah again. Miserable, sad, un-engaged Hannah. (More on that in a minute! 🙂 )

I imagine my fat suit walking back in the door at night…professing its love for me and telling me how much it missed me and climbing right back on. (Not sure if you’ve ever seen ‘Ghost Dad’ with Bill Cosby…but similar to the scene where he gets back in his body.)

I don’t want that to happen…I CANNOT let that happen. I worked far too hard to give all this up now.  Besides…I have a particular garment I’ve got to get in sometime soon…

Here comes the bride!! I am indeed engaged!

 

The proposal was straight from a box-office movie.  Unobstructed view of the sunset in Key West…my dream ring…my dream man. I could not be more grateful for the blessings in my life.

The proposal location!

The seven pounds I found may have been my heart growing three times its size. I am over the moon!!

Single ladies of the world, go ahead and shut it down. I got the prize…the most perfect…the greatest man on the planet. Anyone else is second best.

He is incredible…he is gentle…he is everything (and I seriously mean everything) I’ve dreamed of and prayed for. I found my fairytale. I found my Poppy Doc. (I have always said I wanted a love like that between my grandparents.)

He is the most handsome man I have ever seen.

He loves me for who I am. He loves me for what I was before I knew him. He loves me for what I want to be with him.

He inspires me…he motivates me…he is my ultimate happiness.

His children are awesome as well and I never, ever in a million years expected a happiness like this.

Yes, love struck the second time around for me. Maybe it’s because I am slightly older, and I know what I want and what I don’t want. Maybe it’s because I am finally ready to share my life with someone, to be settled, to have fun, to truly appreciate someone for who they are and what they are. Whatever the reason, I am learning to take each glorious day as it comes, and I cherish each moment I have with him.

Who cares when you find it, if you are divorced, if you’ve never been in a serious relationship or if you are always seemingly single? It doesn’t matter when…it doesn’t matter how. When you find it, you find it.  No matter how unconventional some might find our love to be, it’s what has made me whole. No matter how fast this might have appeared to some, it has lifted me to a place of absolute completion. I have found my better half. The half that was made for me and me for him. As cliche as this phrase is, it’s absolutely true: “When you know, you know.”

 

The girl that was the poster child for ‘How To Get Divorced By 28’ is now the spokesperson for ‘How To Find Your Soul Mate By 30’.

So, to the extra 7 pounds I’ve acquired: You’re in for a rude awakening.

To the white dress in my future: You’re going to show me supermodel status.

To my dreams: Thank you for becoming a reality.

To those that hurt me in the past: I win.

To my heart:  It was worth it.

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’”
~Author Unknown

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The Phantom of the Fat Girl

Down a little bit more…not as productive of a week as I would have liked, but as it was another week on the go, it could have been a lot worse.

 

For the last 14 months I have undoubtedly gone through some pretty significant physical changes.  Having lost almost 75 pounds, you can’t help but have changed a little bit.

But despite all the physical transformation I’ve gone through…despite the fact that I’ve dropped from a size 20 to a size 10…I still have a hard time seeing the new me occasionally.

I still compare myself to the Giselle’s of the world…to the Kate Upton’s. I wish for a flatter stomach and a firmer ass. I want toned arms and 1 chin…I want to look in the mirror and stop seeing fatter Hannah.

Don’t get me wrong…I do see very clearly that I’ve lost weight. But I don’t think I’m seeing myself as I presently am.

It’s like I’m on a 35 lb delay.  My brain still thinks I weight over 200 pounds.

 

Uhh, hello?!  What the hell? Where is the confidence I was guaranteed? Shouldn’t I be wearing a bikini for the first time in my life? Shouldn’t I be able to get dressed in the morning and leave the house in the first thing I pick out because there is no longer such a thing as an unflattering dress that makes me look like a refrigerator? Yeah…not so much.  To me, I look almost exactly the same. And yes, I’m still changing clothes 100 times. No bikini. On occasion, refrigerator status.

I’m putting on medium shirts and convincing myself that the sizes must have been manufactured incorrectly. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably and I’m telling myself that it’s just fluke.

How does one change that? I do I overcome the ideals of perfection thrown into my face daily by the media? How can I be proud of the fact that I’ve dropped my BMI 14 points (true story) instead of the regret that I don’t have the belly for a bikini? How do I get over the fear that every time I sit in a chair, it’s not going to buckle beneath me?

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The quality of that video is bad…but you get the idea!

 

Believe it or not, this distortion has an actual name:  ‘phantom fat.’  Apparently, after a person experiences weight loss, their perception of themselves can sometimes take its time to catch up to the body’s physical changes. Experts have compared it to the feeling of the phantom pains that amputees feel long after a limb is gone. Yes…I said experts. As in people-who-get-paid-to-analyze-the-brains-of-others agree with this distortion….I’m not crazy after all! (Ok…I guess that’s technically up for debate.)

Who would have thought that body image would be something I’d have to worry about once I got here? I figured my insecurities would vanish with the weight.

So now begins a new battle… I’m working on recalibrating my image of myself. Surrounding myself with positive people is certainly helping. People that don’t necessarily know the way I used to be, but see me as I am right now, and appreciate all that this person is. People that truly believe in my beauty, and not just in comparison to what I was…I am trusting the compliments for the first time in my life, instead of convincing myself that there’s some ulterior motive behind them.

But why put in all this work if I can’t see anything changing?

I know I’ve got to give it time. Staying on track towards my ideal and happy weight will help.  My brain will see and celebrate the new me eventually.

I also need to stop being unrealistic.  I’m not going to wake up tomorrow rocking the physique of a Victoria’s Secret model. Losing the weight won’t necessarily turn me into a stick thin, air brushed, Hollywood honey… No one is perfect. I’ve got to try to focus on an ideal that is realistic for me given the bones and genes I was born with.

I have come a long way mentally…it’s time I take a good hard look at myself and see the long way I’ve come physically too.

Years and years of beating myself up has left me numb to how mean I’ve been to myself…It’s high time I appreciate my body. Flaws and all…imperfections and all. It’s time for me to look into the mirror and say, “Damn, the new you is absolutely astounding.”

 

“Mirrors are perpetually deceitful. They lie and steal your true self. They reveal only what your mind believes it sees.” – Dee Remy

Love Is A Four Letter Word

I’ve done a lot of reflecting this week…on where I am, where I’ve been….where I have yet to go.

My weight is continuing to drop (I can’t believe it’s this low…when was the last time I weighed this much?!) and so is my clothing size.

I am by far in the healthiest place mentally that I’ve ever been in. I have conquered many demons and learned to love the one person that I seemed to have the hardest time having an ounce of respect for: myself.

Now that I have learned to love myself unconditionally…can I truly love another the same way?  Years and years of a detrimental self-image also lead to years and years of looking to another to fill the holes that I had created in myself.  Looking elsewhere for fulfillment I should have been getting myself only created bigger voids and more confusion on what it was I really truly wanted.

While thinking this week about all the things I may have done right or wrong in past relationships…I kept asking myself:  What is true love? Does everyone really have a soul mate?

I certainly think this to be true. I yearn for it to be true for me.  I choose to believe that there are 2 people that are created with the other in mind.  I also feel like many of us go through life trying to force the wrong person into that mold…or never finding it at all.

My sister found it.  She found the one made with her in mind.

Her wedding is going to be a blast, and enormously emotional all at the same time….my baby sister…married. The girl who crawled in my bed when she was little because she was scared of the dark…the girl who refused to leave the house without her infamous stuffed animal, a lamb named Stuffy Puffy…The girl who I’ve seen grow from a precious pigtailed girl to a beautiful, talented, brilliant woman.

She found what I and so many others have searched for their entire lives…her soul mate.

If I had been given the task of crafting the most perfect man for her, I could not have asked for more than Dan. He is her perfection. He flawlessly balances her quirkiness, and is patient with her sensitivity. He loves her without question, as she loves him the same.  They are amazing together.

Sarah and Dan...the soon to be newlyweds!

Watching her this weekend at the wedding shower being thrown for her, it was evident, even without him present how excited she was to be marrying her best friend.  Not just about the guests, not just about the presents or the dress…she is truly 100% excited about meeting him at that altar to begin the rest of their lives together.

I’ve certainly searched for that one special person that would make my life complete. Plenty of times I thought I had found it.  Society (and Nicholas Sparks) has made it hard for people to live up to the expectations of the fairytale relationship…the fairytale like my sister and Dan have…the fairytale my Grandmommy and Poppy Doc have.

I am grateful that I am starting to uncover this fairytale…that I am learning that my perfect person may truly exist after all. But I think this notion that finding my true soul mate is possible has more to do with me than it has to do with ‘him.’

As I’m sure it’s obvious to you now, I’ve had a strong inability to find the perfect relationship.

During a counseling session a year or so ago, my therapist asked me to write down what my ‘ideal’ relationship looked like and to describe my perfect partner. I don’t remember what I wrote specifically, but I do know one thing was very clear regarding my perception of what a healthy relationship is…it was a lot about me and what I was demanding from a partner.  I believed and required that someone make me happy…without any effort on my part. My ‘ideal’ was all about what I needed, not about what I can offer.

And trust me, figuring out what I have to offer hasn’t exactly been easy.  I was only able to do so in finding out who I really am.  Finding who this person is was scary initially. I struggled with the constant fear that I might hate who the real me actually was.  It’s hard to take a good look at yourself when you’ve been running from it for so long.

As I discovered the real me and started to find peace in myself, I realized that I had often times felt uneasy in nourishing, communicative and emotionally involved relationships because I had NO IDEA how to be in one. (Obviously given my track record.)  My confusion in myself was evident in the relationships I was attracted to. If we’re unable to have a healthy relationship with ourselves, how can we expect to have one with someone else?

I truly believe that I have finally found my true self.  The self that wakes up happy and goes to bed with a smile on her face….the self that doesn’t look to validate herself by the actions of others…the self that can finally, after many years and many rocky relationships, say that she knows what it means to be fulfilled.

And while not every relationship was devoid of love and happiness, without being able to accept what it was supposed to feel like, I couldn’t experience true unconditional love… complete acceptance…total devoutness and trust.

But that was then…

I am starting to experience true happiness and give it in return. I am starting to understand what it means to trust 100%. I am discovering I have a lot to offer…I am discovering what this so-called life is supposed to be about…

I am starting to write the pages of my fairytale…and it is certainly time for my happily ever after.

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  ~Thomas Szasz

Food ≠ Happiness

So you think food is going to make you happy?

It won’t, you know. I chased the happiness I was hoping it would bring for years and years…only to find myself exponentially more miserable each time.

The idea that those M&M’s, those bags of popcorn or that cheeseburger and French fries is going to make you happy…it’s all absurd.  Crazy as I tried to tell myself it was…I was still searching for it. That magnificent moment when that milk chocolate grazed past my lips or that first salty crunch of a French fry dipped in crimson ketchup.
But it is each time as it always was… a short-lived moment of euphoria… there and gone in the blink of an eye.  The next day, all that’s left is ridiculous guilt. Mounting, suffocating guilt…along with the salty sludge floating around in my system.

 
Where did this come from? Where did I get the notion that food would make me happy. That food would take away all the hurt or despair I was dealing with. That food would fix what was wrong. Food was there to comfort me when I was down…it never turned its back on me…or so I thought. In essence the very thing that I was turning to, was destroying everything at the same time.
But this thought that food equals happiness has put too many of us in a place that we never wanted to be.

A place where we’ve lost control. A place where it’s much easier to keep giving in to temptation than to change what we know every time we look in the mirror is broken.

I know what it feels like to say over and over again “This ends today!” only to blow every semblance of a structured eating plan later in the same day. It’s a truly disheartening feeling that always leaves you discouraged.

I finally feel as if I’ve made it over that hump. The hump that doesn’t leave me running for the closest bag of potato chips when I’ve had a bad day at work or I’m bored out of my mind on a Saturday afternoon. I finally feel emotionally disconnected from the food I’m putting in my mouth. It’s not a filler or a substitute for my happiness. Learning to separate the emotion from the eating will get you over that hump too.

Disconnecting my association between eating and happiness has certainly helped me get this far…

 

Please don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy good food…hell I love good food. But it is not eating it that makes me happy. It’s having control over all of it that makes me happy.  And as far as ‘good’ food goes…I’m redefining “good”. I’m eating with my head now instead of absent-mindedly, robotically shoving things into my mouth.  It’s been near impossible to change almost 30 years of bad habits, but changing them I have.

I could give you a thousand and one weight-loss tips but until you do a little spring cleaning upstairs… I seriously doubt you’ll have the kind of success that you’re looking for.

Food won’t make you happy in the end.

Feeling good makes you happy.

Feeling good about yourself makes you happy.

Being healthy and fit and strong makes you happy.

And you deserve to be happy.

 

“Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything.” ~ Norman Lear

Start a Resolution!!!

Damn those holiday Mondays!! I lost track again of the days again!! I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s holiday! I did…well the parts I can remember anyway. 🙂

There is no weigh-in this week. I am out of town for work (apparently brought the cold weather down to Florida with me on the plane) and don’t have access to my scale. Back on track next Monday (yes, Monday not Tuesday) I promise.

I’m sure a lot of you made a New Year’s resolution…I did as I always do. And this year, like every other year of my adult life at least one of my resolutions involves losing weight. Only difference is that this year my goal is to KEEP losing weight versus to START losing weight.

To all of you who made a similar resolution to change your life and your health this year….then this post is especially for you.

Focus – and listen to what I’m saying…(do it!!!)

There is no excuse, no logical reason, and no remote possibility why 2012 can’t be, and won’t be the one where you finally get your act together and make a little something amazing and life-changing happen on your weight-loss.

If you’re anything like me (for fun and giggles, let’s just assume you’re exactly like me in each and every way), then this isn’t your first rodeo.  How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution to rearrange your life? How many times have you lost sight of the goal you’d vowed to achieve? Maybe the other times you tried your motivation held strong for four weeks or maybe it was closer to four hours (remember, we’re pretending that you’re exactly like me).

Maybe you followed an unhealthy, ginormous breakfast with a declaration of “No more!” and then followed that declaration of “No more!” with a ginormous lunch.

It’s possible you’ve even convinced yourself that you can’t do this, that it’s simply too difficult for you. Well allow me to respond with one thing: Schnozzle flubberdusters ate bowyangs on an absquatulate hemidemisemiquaver.

Hey, it you’re going to delve in the crazy talk, then so am I! Telling yourself that you can’t do this or that it’s too hard is crazy talk.

Check out my stats and see the progress I’ve made.  I’ve lost the weight of an average 6-year old. Insane. When you get your head in the game and your ass in gear, you’ll see the same reduction. I had no idea what I was doing when I started on this crazy journey, but I did know that it was time for me to make a drastic change.

Your journey will not be completely like the one I’ve been on. Yours will not be like anyone else’s before you. You have to create your own path.

And at this moment in time, when you look at yourself in the mirror, may feel like I once did: as though I was defined by all the things I wasn’t instead of all the things I was. This is your chance to make a new start and to really bring it home this time. Take this opportunity to redefine yourself.
Trust me. Shedding pounds on the scale doesn’t instantly fix anything in your life that might have been bothering you. Dropping the weight won’t necessarily make your life picture-perfect. It won’t get you that guy/girl you wish would fall in love with you (but if they do finally start to pay you some attention, they might not be worth your time anyway), it won’t make you a millionaire and isn’t likely to immediately land you on the cover of Playboy, but I’m willing to wager you a hot dollar that it’ll make your life better. That it’ll make dealing with whatever you have to deal with ten times easier because you’ll be happy to be in your own skin, and learn to love your imperfect life perfectly.

Abandon the “I can’t do it” notion…leave the feelings of worthlessness at the door and let’s start the slow, steady journey back to where you want to be, where you deserve to be….Where you belong.

 

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them … If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney